National Reconciliation Week runs from 27th May to 3rd June 2020. At NOFASD Australia we acknowledge the significance of these days and we pay our respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation.
In 2019, a working party consisting of NOFASD staff, board members and community representatives developed our first Reconciliation Action Plan. Our RAP has been submitted to Reconciliation Australia and, whilst we await feedback, we are starting to move forward with our RAP commitments to reconciliation.
One of our commitments is the involvement of NOFASD staff, board members and key stakeholders in events which support reconciliation and recognise the continued contribution of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all National Reconciliation Week events are being held online this year. The NOFASD team will come together on 27th May to watch the compelling Indigenous documentary, We Don’t Need a Map. This film was made by one of Australia’s leading Indigenous contemporary filmmakers, Warwick Thornton and is available from the Reconciliation Film Club.
27 May is the anniversary of the 1967 referendum, when 90% of Australians (and 95% of Victorians) voted ‘yes’ to changing the constitution so that Aboriginal people could be counted in the National Census, and for the Federal government to make laws for all people (previously only the State’s laws applied to Aboriginal people).
3 June is Mabo Day, commemorating Eddie Koiki Mabo. His position was that he and other Torres Strait Islanders occupied the island of Mer before the British. On this day in 1992 the High Court ruled in his favour, effectively recognising Native Title Rights and rejecting ‘terra nullius’; the idea that Australia belonged to no-one before the British arrived.
Our team at NOFASD look forward to joining thousands of individuals and organisations to acknowledge and celebrate these important events, and to continue moving forward as a nation towards reconciliation. This year more than ever, we really are in this together.
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